Ireland, Europe and the Global Crisis
For Ireland – along with Spain, Portugal and Greece – membership of ‘Europe’ was seen as an opportunity to escape their historical legacy of ‘underdevelopment’ and become fully integrated into core positions in the global system. Each of these states, and especially Ireland experienced significant growth in the European Union but once the global financial crisis struck, they suffered a deep economic and social crisis, and came to be categorised once again as ‘peripheral’ to Europe. This acute recurrence of a core-periphery divide in the European Union has been accompanied by a rapid diminution of democracy in the EU and its transformation into an increasingly coercive formation. The deprivation programmes imposed by the EU on the peripheral societies has not only damaged growth in the European economy, they have hugely diminished the legitimacy of the European integration project. The essay explores the roots of Europe’s changing power structures and assesses the implications of the Eurozone crisis for the future of the European integration project.
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